Wellness Wednesday: Try something new!

Although the terms “wellness” and “fitness” are often used interchangeably, physical fitness is only one part of overall well-being. Other aspects may include the development of your intellectual, emotional, occupational, environmental, financial, spiritual and social well-being. In 2022, if you want to try something new, learn a new skill or hobby, and soak up some culture, Asheville Parks and Recreation offers many free and inexpensive lifelong learning opportunities.

Coloring books for adults are one of the latest trends to combat stress and anxiety. Thanks to a partnership between the City of Asheville, area nonprofits and agencies, and local artists, residents can connect with food sources and learn about community gardens through the beautifully illustrated pages of a new adult coloring book, In the garden. Pick up a free copy with every community center or print at home.

Older adults and retirees

If you want to share your learned experience, channel your literary skills on Harvest House Community Center‘s Workshop about writing life the first Wednesday of each month. Other opportunities at Harvest House include weaving, sculpting, woodworking, ceramics, billiards, line dancing, knitting and crochet, music, card games, dominoes and Days out to nearby attractions such as the Asheville Art Museum, Little Switzerland and local breweries.

Variety is the spice of life and the Senior Opportunity Center offers table games, crossword puzzles, crafts, book clubs, gardening and more on weekdays. Through a partnership with the Council on Aging of Buncombe County, free senior get together dinner lunchtime meals are offered every weekday with educational guest speakers. Lunch is also available at Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center Wednesday-Friday with innovative chair exercises to increase mobility and strength.

Burton Street Senior Elite Club meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays for fellowship, games, movies, meals, day trips, and other fun activities. To discover the local culinary scene, join the Packed lunch each month at a different local restaurant with scheduled visits to Buxton Hall and Sunset Terrace at the Omni Grove Park Inn. Time of our lives while Senior Trippin’ and Senior Tripsters are monthly clubs with trips to the bowling alley, restaurants and cinemas.

For a full list of programs for older adults, click here.

Click here for Harvest House’s weekly schedule, including exercises, crafts, games and clubs.


mature woman with plate of tamalesBurton Street Community Center is your place to learn basic vehicle maintenance, to create healthy latin dishes, and play bingo. For those with a musical ear (and those without), community jams provide the opportunity to play, sing, dance, or watch neighbors and friends meld together in a musical rainbow. Later in the year, team members organize films and walks.

Robotics 101 provides an introduction to designing, building and engineering your own robot creation while art evenings with community access offer another opportunity for creative expression. Tempie Avery Montford Community Center also offers introductory and advanced classes in indoor rock climbing.

If you are a beginner, intermediate or professional card player, check out the Ultimate Bid Whist/Spades Party on Tuesday evening at Linwood Crump Shiloh Community Center. The center also offers tai chi lessons, bingo, Puzzle with Paul, Just a Dash recipe club, talent shows, and By myself for myself, a DIY program that teaches how to make soaps, candles, body scrubs and more.

Opportunities to learn something new at the Stephens-Lee Community Center include: indoor pickleball, bingo, line dancing, bid, scrabble, A, and basketball.

For a full list of adult programs, click here.


The Stephens-Lee Leadership Program for Teens consists of a variety of activities, rewarding projects, field trips and more. When school is out for teacher workdays, Day out for teenagers offers games, special events, and field trips to bowl and volunteer locally, or visit the science museum in Charlotte and an escape room in Greenville.

For a full list of programs for teens, click here.

Children and toddlers

child in dramatic playWhen school is out on scheduled workdays, community centers host Nice day out with games, crafts and unique activities. Boyz 2 Men and all about me are clubs for boys and girls respectively that meet monthly to go on field trips, organize after parties, organize sleepovers, play games, volunteer and more.

Community centers across the city have after-school programs, climbing and paddling camps, open gym times, and more.

For a full list of programs for children and toddlers, click here.

Download the new AVL Rec App for iPhone, search programs online, or browse our programming guide for the latest features and updates.

Check out the previous articles in this series on get active and ways to meet new people and spend more time with friends and family.

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